Actigall

Generic Name: Ursodiol

  • What is Actigall?

    Actigall is used to help dissolve certain kinds of gallstones. It is also used to prevent gallstones in people on rapid-weight-loss diets.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Actigall?

    Actigall is not a quick remedy. It takes months of Actigall therapy to dissolve gallstones; and there is a possibility of incomplete dissolution and recurrence of stones. Your doctor will weigh Actigall against alternative treatments and recommend the best one for you.

    Actigall is most effective if your gallstones are small or "floatable" (high in cholesterol). In addition, your gallbladder must still be functioning properly.

    Although Actigall is not known to cause liver damage, it is theoretically possible in some people. Your doctor may run blood tests for liver function before you start to take Actigall and again while you are taking it.

  • Who should not take Actigall?

    Do not take these medications if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to ursodiol or to other bile acids.

    Actigall will not dissolve certain types of gallstones. If your doctor tells you that your gallstones are calcified cholesterol stones, radio-opaque stones, or radiolucent bile pigment stones, you are not a candidate for treatment with Actigall.

    Also, if you have biliary tract (liver, gallbladder, bile duct) problems or certain liver and pancreas diseases, your doctor may not be able to prescribe Actigall for you.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Actigall?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Actigall. Also talk to your doctor about your complete medical history.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Dissolving Gallstones

    Adults: The recommended daily dosage is 8-10 milligrams (mg) per 2.2 pounds of body weight, divided into 2 or 3 doses.

    Preventing Gallstones

    Adults: The usual dose in people losing weight rapidly is 300 milligrams twice a day.

  • How should I take Actigall?

    Take Actigall exactly as prescribed; otherwise the gallstones may dissolve too slowly or not dissolve at all. During treatment, your doctor will do periodic ultrasound exams to see if your stones are dissolving.
  • What should I avoid while taking Actigall?

    Avoid missing doses or taking extra doses.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Actigall?

    If Actigall is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Actigall with the following: aluminum-based antacid medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, estrogens, and oral contraceptives.
  • What are the possible side effects of Actigall?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, back pain, bronchitis, constipation, coughing, diarrhea, gas, headache, indigestion, joint pain, muscle pain, nausea, sinus inflammation or infection, sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection, viral infection, vomiting

  • Can I receive Actigall if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. So far, there is no evidence that ursodiol can harm an unborn baby; but to be safe, the medication is not recommended during pregnancy. Caution is needed during breastfeeding; it is not known whether ursodiol taken by a nursing mother passes into her breast milk.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Actigall?

    Take it as soon as you remember, or at the same time as the next dose.
  • How should I store Actigall?

    Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.